Nikki Michelle James is an Haitian-American-Vincentian actress and singer. James is best known for her performances in the popular stage musicals The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables. Her role as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon earned her a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.
Nikki James is of Haitian and Vincentian descent and graduated from Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey. As a child, she sang and acted in church and in school performances. She was nominated for a Rising Star Award at Paper Mill Playhouse for her performance as Dolly Levi in high school. She later attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
James made her Broadway debut in the ill-fated The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and starred as Ottilie in the New York City Center Encores production of House of Flowers. She played Adela in the Off-Broadway run of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical adaptation of Bernarda Alba and appeared in the Broadway cast of All Shook Up.
James played Dorothy in the revival of The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse and also starred in Romeo and Juliet and Caesar and Cleopatra at the Stratford Festival with Christopher Plummer. In the musical The Book of Mormon, she won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Nabulungi. During that run, she took a leave in June 2012 to film a screen version of Lucky Stiff. From 2014 until January 2015, she played Éponine in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables.
In a Metro interview, Nikki said her favorite dish to cook for when she’s in a rush is her Haitian mothers rice and beans.
In July 2017, James starred in the NY City Center ENCORES! revival of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin.